Drama at hotel as workshop attendants protest
08 February 2012, 12:24
Over 70 community members, chiefs, assistant chiefs and some government officers attending a gender based violence workshop organized by Aphia plus, demonstrated on Tuesday demanding settlement of their two days allowance amounting to KES 276,500.
They almost paralyzed activities at the Eden Rock tourist Hotel, but after consultation they agreed to continue with the seminar.
The seven days workshop which is being held at Eden Rock was interrupted and delayed for some hours when members attending the seminar vowed not to continue with the workshop until their allowances were settled.
According to them the cash should have been paid out to each attendant of the seminar, but that was not the case, raising some concerns that there may be plots to misuse funds allocated to cater for the seminar by Aphia plus officials.
The members also complained about their accomodation as being pathetic, as even sleeping nets were torn; inadequate supply of water forcing some of them to attend the workshop without taking a bath.
“We came here on Sunday and up to date we have not received the 1000 daily allowance as promised by the Aphia plus officials. In fact we are forced to dig deeper into our pockets to get food,” said the welfare chairperson of the workshop Michael Kaingu Katana.
Katana said that despite the fact that they were invited to attend the seminar they have been denied dinner, and that prompted demonstration by the members.
“We cannot continue with the seminar unless we are assured of our allowances,” asserted irritated Kaingui.
There are reports that Aphia plus workshops have been failing attendants by promising to settle allowances through M-pesa services but fail to do so after the seminar and so the community and other officers who had attended the workshop had their concerns over the matter.
“It is not the first seminar these people have failed to pay allowances and we think they are pocketed by these officials after the seminar. They promise to pay through M-pesa after the workshop but they don’t do so,” he added.
Nelly Maina, Aphia plus Gender based advisor in Nairobi said that there was a delay problem in M-pesa services which she noted had caused the delay.
She however noted that the booking by Aphia plus at the hotel was on half board basis, where only breakfast and dinner and accommodation but added that the issue was being sorted out to settle the allowances.
“We are communicating with our colleagues in Mombasa where we are supposed to send names of the attendants before their allowances is sent to us, so we hope by the end of the day they will be given their allowances,” she asserted.
After consultations with the members, Malindi branch Aphia plus official David Shungu, said that “You see we have systems in settling such issues because we must send names to Mombasa where cash is sent to us before they are released to members attending the workshop.”
He assured members that they were working on the matter noting that it will be settled before the end of the day.
The seminar was attended by chiefs, assistant chiefs, government officers and community members.
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